Cultura

From la Almozara Bridge to Santiago Bridge

On the other side of Europa Square, on a wall belonging to Santa Teresa Church-Convent (known as Las Fecetas), we find a wall painting on the old Sancho Gate, which forms part of the programme charged in 2008 by the City of Zaragoza to Fabiola Gil Alarés and Vicente Gómez Arbiol. But, we better go down to the river bank, where we see, under the Almozara Bridge, the sculpture group in bronze Water Cart, made by the Dutch sculptor Joep Van Lieshout and his team, the Van Lieshout Workshop, another work commissioned by Expoagua 2008. Initially, this group of hungry homunculus was placed at the prairies of "The Gardens of Art", within the Expo site, but, after the closing of the Expo, the area was usually flooded by the Ebro. Therefore, there are usually water pools and mud around the plinth where the figures are placed, since water does not run and dry well. Maybe this was the idea of its authors, since they chose this place in their plan but with another name "Models of Watertreatment Installations", a scale model of a water treatment plant.

Going along the right bank of the Ebro, we find attractive areas for children and kiosk-bars with outdoor tables. The work of art called Atum made by Monique Bastians -one of the projects chosen by Expoagua foreseen to be placed at San Pablo Park- was not built. The project of this Belge sculptoress living in Spain, evoked thousands of dewdrops, a convenient topic for the proximity of the Library and Documentation Center for Water and Environment, placed at no 18 of the Echegaray y Caballero Promenade. At the crossing of this street with César Augusto Avenue, we find the remains of the Roman Walls, a fountain with the sculpture of Augustus -given by Mussolini and previously placedin other sites- and the Allegory of the Gate of Peace, four series of postmodern arches made in concrete, bricks and alabaster, in honour of the four historical cultures and the three names of the city which are engraved in every one of the four porticoes: Salduba, Caeasaraugusta, Saraqusta and Zaragoza.

It is also interesting to make a stop and admire the elegant Santiago Bridge, planned in 1956 by the engineer Tomás Mur Vilaseca and commanded by the Ministry of Public Works and the City of Zaragoza. As we can read in the inscription placed at the feet of the flagships, the bridge was opened in 1967. Behind it, we can see Helios Sport Club and the Chimney, another interesting monument of industrial architecture. Only if we are lucky we will see on the Ebro some canoeist from Helios. Crossing to the left side, we find a Sailing Boat and a Canoe in bronze, placed at the median strip of the Pirineos Avenue, made by the local sculptor Carlos Ochoa. Years before, this monument was very isolated and went unnoticed; today is a little bit more known because coaches park there since parking is forbidden at the right bank of the Ebro, in front of the Pilar Basilica.

We also can see in this district a work made in 2008 by Miquel Navarro, a famous artist from Valencia, who was invited -out of contest- by Expoagua to make a huge sculpture. Many of his works are showed in Spain and abroad, but, for Zaragoza, his proposal was not one of his typical towers but Valve with Alberca, a sculpture composed of a vertical structure made of steel from which water flows, and another one -the basin- in horizontal position.